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Over the Rhine - The Trumpet Child


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Over the Rhine is about to head into the studio to record their next studio release, and on Saturday I heard them perform a show that was, oh, at least half made up of new songs.

And they are great.

They're headed into a playful, jazzy phase, with songs more in a region where you might unexpectedly bump into Norah Jones, Beth Gibbons, or the ghosts of Holliday and Fitzgerald.

Watching Karin turn all sexy and flirtatious singing "Trouble," a song about how she "loves a man with a five-o-clock shadow," I couldn't help but think of Julie Delpy's closing-scene strut in Before Sunset. But I'd heard that song a few months ago in Seattle, so it wasn't new.

What was new: A blow-the-roof-off spiritual anthem called "The Trumpet Child;" a song about refusing to do anything halfway, which I think was called "Go Deep;" and another one about how "nothing is innocent now" that sounded like a preview for a new acoustic Portishead album.

I've never seen Karin have so much fun, and Linford, in spite of laryngitis, was talkative and enthusiastic about what's coming next.

I can't wait.

You can see a few snapshots of OTR from their Glen Workshop visit at my blog.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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This is fantastic news, Jeffrey!

They played a song at both of the shows I saw this summer which Linford described as a song about "going deep," but at the time the song was titled "I Don't Want to Waste Your Time." I assume these are two different songs?

I've also heard two new pieces called "Entertaining Thoughts" and "I'm on a Roll"-- those songs come up?

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It was, indeed, "I don't want to waste your time..." (at least that was the first line. The song is stuck in my head, and I can sing the whole first verse.)

No, they didn't play either of those other two you mentioned. I think, though, that they've got a whole album's worth of material ready to go.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Thanks for all the posts and updates on OTR. I just bought my first CD -- Drunkard's Prayer -- five or six weeks ago and have promptly purchased copies for my daughters and gotten OHIO and now I and they are hooked. My God, talk about Going Deep, they are deep already. They hit me in places I'd buried or forgotten long ago. They bring emotions, memories, issues to the surface for me in a way I can deal with "just a little bit each day." Yeah yeah yeah yeah.

I may have to write a column about them.

Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

--T.S. Eliot--
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Nothing is innocent now.

But The Trumpet Child comes pretty close. I mean, they really don't want to waste our time. Especially with a five o' clock shadow like that. :D

Yeah. I can't wait. Saturday was my first OTR live experience. I was not prepared for such an incredible time. Especially the Trumpet child. I can't wait to see what they do with it in the studio.

I wonder if everybody has the same overwhelming feeling that I did experiencing Latter Days for the first time.

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Dadgummit-- sounds like I should've waited an extra month or two before I saw them this summer, because I missed out on "The Trumpet Child."

And I agree with the comments regarding "Latter Days" and "I'm on a Roll;" hearing the former played live for the first time was one of my all-time most exhilarating cocnert moments, and the latter is such a fun, playful little song that I'm sure it will be a live favorite for years to come.

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Glad to find an OTR thread on the front page. I hadn't heard anything about a new album until I read this, which is good to know. Today my OtR collection more than doubled as I picked up the masterful limited edition CD Live From Nowhere: Volume 1 as well as another live album, 2 studio albums and something called Besides.

My love for this band is a little young compared to some of those here, but I'm coming to realize just how amazing they are. I think the next time there's a live show in this area I'm going to just have to drop everything and go.

By the way, since Live From Nowhere was a limited edition, some of you might not have it. Sadly it's sold out, as well. It's got great covers of Fever, Son of a Preacher Man, Moondance, It's only a paper moon and an excellent live version of Etcetera Whatever that is right now my favorite song on my ipod.

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Best Over the Rhine album cover ever?

Yep, absolutely wonderful. But not the best image they have produced, which is tattooed right here on my arm.

I think the lyrics to "North Pole Man" just might earn the album a Parental Advisory sticker.

::noexpression::

If I could, I would insert the sound of crickets chirping right here:

Edited by MLeary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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I think the lyrics to "North Pole Man" just might earn the album a Parental Advisory sticker.

Yeah -- takes "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" to a whole new level!

Some great lyrics throughout, though, like:

Tear these thorns from my heart

Help the healing to start

Let

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

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Yay!

First 2 MP3s are here:

All I Ever Get for Christmas is Blue & Darlin' (Christmas is Coming)

Both are exquisite. The warmth of the arrangements and Karin's effortless phrasing help lighten the tone of the lyrics, and lend a definite hope to each song... In Darlin', the emphasis is not on the pain, but on the healing.

Also, OTR has posted an interesting pre-order bonus:

Everyone who pre-orders the "Snow Angels" CD will also receive (via e-mail, within 48 hours of purchasing) access to a secret downloadable archive of Karin's Nowhere Farm sketches--her earliest outlines of many of the songs that became Snow Angels. Pre-order your copy and start listening to these intimate performances right away!

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got my copy in the mail today. I never got around to pre-ordering, but Linford was nice enough to send me a copy as a gift. (I also got a candy cane.)

I had planned on spending some time with the new Tom Waits set tonight, but now I just don't know WHAT to listen to...

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Snow Angels is a small treasure. You only need to listen to the first couple of songs before you know that you're listening to something very special, something that will be cherished by its hearers for a long time to come. In other words... it's like any other OtR album, and deserves to be treated as such.

Don't let the fact that it's a holiday album trick you into thinking it's just a tossed-off side project; in many ways, it's just as profound and provocative, and certainly as focused, as their "regular" albums. It's a playful, flirtatious set of jazzy folk songs and folksy jazz songs, very much a continuation of Drunkard's Prayer and an indicator of what's to come on their next set. These are strong songs-- many of which deserve to be added to their live shows year-round-- and the lyrics wrestle with heartbreak and redemption in ways that find hope in the Christmas story but are appropriate to be played even outside of the holiday season.

"North Pole Man" is another contender for Sexiest OtR Song Ever, right up there with "Lifelong Fling," "The Body is a Stairway of Skin," and "Little Did I Know."

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like the album. I don't love it, but it is a nice fire to warm up to. There are fun, candy-coated Christmas jingles and solemn hymns and prayers and love songs and turn-ons.

I differ from Josh's take slightly... it strikes me as a pleasant living-room-concert kind of album, one that'll be a delightful soundtrack for Christmas parties. But it's not the kind of Over the Rhine stuff that makes me sit bolt upright and say "I am in the presence of greatness." Yeah, the lyrics do explore heartbreak and hurt and hope, but they seem to be moving through some of the same sentiments that OtR has explored thoroughly before. It felt like a Christmas version of Drunkard's Prayer, actually. "Here It Is," for example, feels like lyrics left over from a track that didn't make the Drunkard's Prayer cut, to which they've added a refrain ("I'm wrapping up my love this Christmas / And here it is") that qualifies it as a Christmas song.

But that's okay. It's a melancholy, somewhat sentimental, playful side project, and as such, it's a pleasure. I much prefer the darker, more mysterious tones of their previous Christmas album, The Darkest Night of the Year, but that's just a personal preference. This work is much more about piano than guitars, and Linford seems to be feeling nostalgic about Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas music.

Here's my review.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I caught OTR for the umpteenth (well over 35 shows at this point) time last Friday evening here in Bloomington. They played a very nice mix of new Christmas songs from Snow Angels and even a few songs from the forthcoming c.d in 2007. The new (non Christmas) songs sound very good. Especially pleasing was the new song titled If A Song Could Be President. Names dropped into the song's lyrics include Neil Young, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, and John Prine. OTR goes alt.country! If you get a chance to see the band on the current Christmas tour, make a point to go.

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